Unravelling the DG red tape

The confusion for agencies seeking European Commission work is compounded by the plethora of Directorate Generals which make the decisions. Composed of civil servants from around the European Union, but based in Brussels, the 23 DGs cover everything from agriculture to audio-visual policy, energy to transport. Because of internal political sensitivities agencies have to make sure they approach the right one otherwise they will lose the opportunity before it even presents itself.

The various DGs are as follows: DGI – External economic relations. DGIa – External political relations. DGII – Economic and financial affairs. DGIII – Industry. DGIV – Competition. DGV – Employment, industrial relations and social affairs. DGVI – Agriculture. DGVII – Transport. DGVIII – Development. DGIX – Personnel and administration. DGX – Audiovisual media, information, communication and culture. DGXI – Environment, nuclear safety and civil protection. DGXII – Science, research and development. DGXIII – Telecommunications, information market and exploitation of research. DGXIV – Fisheries. DGXV – Internal market and financial services. DGXVI – Regional policies. DGXVII – Energy. DGXVIII – Credit and investment. DGXIX – Budgets. DGXX – Financial control. DGXXI – Customs and indirect taxation. DGXXII – Co-ordination of structural policies. DGXXIII – enterprise policy, distributive trades, tourism and co-operatives.

In true EC style many of the descriptions of the responsibilities of the DGs do not clarify what they actually do. Within each directorate there are divisions of tasks which can create up to six different sections.

However, those DGs which are most likely to be looking to hire ad agencies are those responsible for agriculture, transport, media policy, telecommunications and tourism.

There is no figure available for the amount of money the EC spends annually on advertising campaigns because there is no central body co-ordinating the activity. That presents further problems for agencies as the olive oil campaign (see page 32) only serves to prove.

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